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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 26, 2019 4 months ago

Iconic retail center dishing out change in taste

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Renovation nearly complete, Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers eateries trending toward fun, casual dining.

With its renovation nearly complete, the evolution of the iconic 343,000-square-foot Bell Tower Shops open-air retail center in Fort Myers continues with a decided shift from white linen-dining to more casual fare and ambience. 

Dave & Buster’s recently opened its new, 40,000-square-foot restaurant there — in the shuttered Saks Fifth Avenue location, which had been there since 1996 and closed in 2016. The new Dave & Buster’s marks the chain’s eighth dining, arcade and sports bar location in Florida and 126th overall. In addition, Burntwood Tavern, a casual American restaurant known for its rustic decor and signature copper-topped bars, is scheduled to open in fall 2019. 

Meanwhile two long-time Bell Tower restaurants are closing their doors. 

Burntwood Tavern will occupy the space that for the last 15 years was Cru, which will close April 28. Established in 2010 by the Chef Art Pour Restaurant Group, Burntwood Tavern has 10 locations, with Mercato in North Naples as the nearest to the Bell Tower. Bistro 41, another Bell Tower fine dining staple, also announced it will close at the end of April.

Dave & Buster’s occupies new space at the corner of Daniels Parkway and U.S. 41 in the Bell Tower complex. Burntwood Tavern will be at the southern end of the center between Fresh Market and Bed Bath & Beyond. The two join the culinary mix of Blue Pointe Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill; Cantina Laredo; DaRuMa Japanese Steakhouse; Grimaldi's Pizzeria; Mimi's Café; Society; TGI Friday's; and World of Beer.

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